Prisons and the Struggles Against Them (regularly updated)

From Dialectical Delinquents:

This page will be subject to regular updates, most notably in the chronology , but also in giving references to interesting texts. So far (22/8/15), in addition to the chronology , I’ve only put in a couple of minor personal experiences related to prison which follows the chronology, and
some other reading material , which will be added to bit by bit. But I wanted to put this out in time for this week’s “solidarity with anarchist prisoners”. 

This is dedicated to Keith LaMar, who in 1993 took part in a prison uprising which united blacks with white “nazis” 1 against the prison system, in which 9 prisoners and one guard died. Keith LaMar has just had his final appeal against the death penalty turned down, and it looks very likely that, after over 22 years, he will be murdered by the state  (look here).

gordon-1 gordon-2 gordon-riots-3

Pictures of the Gordon riots in London 1780, when several prisons were liberated and the buildings set on fire

I’ve put this out as a kind of contribution to the International week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners  (23-30 August). A bit tokenistic maybe – as it’s only an internet page, but  if there’s something going on in my part of the world (Montpellier, France) I’ll probably participate.

And whilst I really like, for instance, this from Emma Sheppard, why limit this solidarity to “anarchist prisoners”? Though obviously people who call themselves anarchists (I’m not one) are more in a position to express practical solidarity with prisoners who they know, do all those prisoners that they know call themselves anarchists? And on the most general level of information and propaganda, it seems  far more worthwhile to address all prisoners, considering the necessity for the abolition of prisons and of the society that requires them. Addressing only anarchist prisoners does not contribute to the necessity to overcome separations between “political” prisoners and other class war prisoners (and the vast majority of those in prison are because of class society, especially property laws). It seems to make a hierarchy between apparently “politically conscious” prisoners and others, even though most anarchists want the abolition of prisons. Which is why below I’ve listed a chronology of all prison-related riots, escapes and other things taken from my News of Opposition page, dating back to March 2013, regardless of whether they involved anarchists or not.


Amongst those who claim to want an anti-state revolution, there have been  some who  believe that “after the revolution” there will still be specialists-in-order (anarcho-cops) and prisons. For instance,  leading Libcom admin member Fall Back once called for, “far more complex, modern, well resourced kinds of ‘prisons’ with more progressive aims than currently exist…”communist prisons” …would be a place where people had broken laws would be forcibly detained”. 2 To talk about communist prisons being entirely different from capitalist prisons is like saying the communist State will be entirely different from the capitalist State: here so-called “anarchism” joins Leninism. Incarcerating anti-social leftovers of the mad alienation of class society (the recalcitrant ex-cops, ex-screws, mass-murdering politicians, mass-thieving bourgeoises, rapists, paedophiles, etc.) all in the same hellhole is obviously idiotic. If elements of communal constraint are necessary they will have nothing to do with the brutal repressive reality of prisons throughout history. To think that we’d call such forcible restraint a ‘prison’ is like calling ‘workers’ councils’ (or whatever term you’d like to imagine the future fantasy society to be) ‘the State’ or ‘the government’. This is not just a question of semantic terms but of a break with hierarchical notions and practices of social control. Killing scum is not the same as capital punishment. Forcible restraint is not the same as prison. A margin of rationing (where scarcity is not forced by capitalist property relations but comes about because of, for example, differences between different geographical areas) is not money. Obviously in this future possibility there will be some way of punishing people who act in ways the community they’re part of find unbearable. But it’s not just semantics that separates, say, “grounding” a teenage kid from the idea of putting him/her in prison, but a general attitude that you want social relations to constantly experiment with changes that have some healthy result. If we talk about the abolition of the State that also means abolishing specialists in social control; the task of determining the methods of making it clear to people that certain behaviour is unacceptable will be the task of the whole of the anti-hierarchical community. To ground this in the past and present: what punishments have we received or given that we considered changed a situation for the good? What punishments during intense moments of class struggle have changed situations for the good? What punishments are we prepared to mete out to those we consider beyond the pale? To anyone not clogged up with dominant perspectives, prison isn’t an answer to any of these.


This is a chronology of prison riots, hunger strikes and other prison-related matter taken from the News of Opposition page, going back to March 2013.


Australia, New South Wales: 10 hours of freedom


South Africa, Gauteng: 5 prisoners awaiting trial escape



Germany, Leipzig: court spray-painted in support of prisoners

Syria, Hama: hundreds of prisoners riot against conditions “…furniture and equipment ransacked and beds turned into barricades to sealed iron gates…. inmates, mostly held on terror-related charges and for joining protests against the state, took control of several major wards and ransacked prison quarters.“

Iran, Tehran: over 500 on hunger strike in new prison


US, California: riot follows prisoner’s killing of Hugo Pinell, one of the San Quentin 6 politicised prisoners of 1971, a man who’d killed a screw Though this is pure speculation – maybe this was manipulated by screws…? And this seems to confirm something like that…More here “This is revenge,” declared his close friend, fellow Black Panther veteran Kiilu Nyasha, on Hard Knock Radio Aug. 13. “They hated him as much as George Jackson. They beat him constantly, kept him totally isolated for 46 years – no window, no sunlight – but they could never break him, and that’s why they hated him. “The only way he survived was that this man was full of love….He participated in the hunger strikes and applauded the Agreement to End Hostilities, authored by 16 of his comrades, Black, Brown and White, and dated Aug. 12, 2012, three years to the day before he was killed. It has nearly erased racial violence from California prisons.


Palestine, Jerusalem: activists occupy Red Cross in support of hunger striking prisoner


Iran, Tehran: 500 on hunger strike in new prison


US, Arkansas: riot at prison causes hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of improvement


Eire, Dublin: prisoners take to the roof, riot “…two inmates remained on the prison roof staging a protest. They accessed the roof at around 11am, followed some time later by a linked protest at the B Yard in the west Dublin prison. Some 60 inmates in the yard refused to leave at 12pm. Prison authorities identified a core of 15 ringleaders, who …demolished soccer goals and used the metal posts, along with security razor wiring, as improvised weapons.” At the same time some of the prisoners take hostage and beat up an Afghani refugee.


Australia, Melbourne: another fire at prison famous for its earlier riot


UK, Surrey: prison riot

France, Yvelines: report of designer clothes manufacturer-cum-prisoner using his past to gain street cred and trying to calm down angry youths after constant on-off mini-riots This man in his thirties is known to all here. He is extremely active on social networks and in recent months has launched his clothing brand called “For youv”. All this from … his  prison cell  where he’s been  incarcerated for almost thirteen years after a series of robberies. “My past allows me to be credible to those kids”, says youv, who was given permission to organise a barbecue [presumably outside prison] “Burning cars, throwing stones at the police, I did it! And today I am in prison. And believe me, prison is not really an example. ” Sitting in the middle of a group of teenagers consuming a merguez sausage or emptying a coke, the young man commands respect. The kids listen in silence, in awe…. The discussion continues for several minutes. The tone is never preachy. He warns, pacifies, without pointing the finger at one youth or another. “I do not want to appoint blame, I do not want to be in a confrontation. I just use my little notoriety to make things happen in my own way, ” insists youv.  An intervention that could possibly bear fruit amongst this very young audience who are not very sensitive to traditional prevention messages.“


Algeria, Ouargla: youths attack courtroom and cops after arrests on previous day’s riot “…Comrades [of those previously arrested] … moved to Ouargla Court demanding their immediate release, without further ado …Young people decided to throw stones and other objects at the windows of the court in a sudden escalation of violence which sparked a forceful intervention from the security forces to deter attackers from crossing the boundary wall of the court and to protect the public building. The clashes lasted a good half hour before the youths were pushed outside the perimeter of the court which also has several banks, tax management, the headquarters of the wilaya [kind of prefecture] and the operational area of ​​the army ….The authorities had to close their doors, several businesses pulled down their shutters before the street regained its composure.


Germany, Berlin: security company car burnt, culmination of other anti-political attacks on cars


Argentina, Wallmapu: indigenous prisoners in Great Escape



UK, London: SWP/SYRIZA meeting disrupted by anarchist prisoner solidarity group


Argentina, Tucuman: 20 youths attack police station with sticks and stones, burn or smash 3 cars belonging privately to cops and 2 hijacked vehicles According to this, this attack was made by friends and family of someone who died of asphyxiation in a prison.


US, Arizona: I have only one burning desire – let me stand next to your fire


US, Arizona: July 4th celebrations prison-style Problems began July 2 in the medium-security Hualapai Unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex-Kingman when inmates were “non-compliant and caused significant damage” in two housing areas”

South Africa, North West: Famous 5 On Adventure Holiday 


US: Arizona: 2nd night of riot in prison In Wednesday’s incident, a small group of minimum security inmates were chasing down an inmate when prison staff intervened to stop the assault, Wilder said. The inmates assaulted the officers, and six officers suffered minor injuries.,.. it took a couple of hours to get the prisoners back to their housing units…Thursday’s incident involved many more inmates and turned into a full-blown riot involving an unknown number of inmates…. It took many hours for prison staff and Department of Corrections officers to bring the situation under control, and the prison wasn’t secured until early Friday morning, Wilder said. Three guards were hurt.”

Mexico, Mexico City: prisoners’ hunger strike now in 6th day Pi writes: “A declaration on the sixth day of hunger strike of the “Informal Coordination of Prisoners in Resistance” by Fernando Bárcenas, an anarchist jailed and accused of having burnt a coca-cola tree during a movement against the rise of metro ticket prices. What is pretty interesting is that this new declaration (several have been issued during these last days) clearly states they’re against all prisons and the distinction between “political prisoners” and others.” See 27/6/15 for original declaration.


Australia, Melbourne: there’s no smoking ban without fire Fire crews have returned to the scene of a blaze at the Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall, a day after inmates rioted and lit fires at the prison. At least nine CFA and MFB crews were dispatched to the prison about 11am on Wednesday. The incident was declared over and the fire labelled “safe” about 12.20pm…Five inmates were injured when police clashed with as many as 50 armed prisoners in an operation to end the riot about 3am.  Heavily armed police used tear gas, the dog squad and other tactics to quell the riot. Rampaging inmates lit fires, rammed an exit door, and penetrated a control room after guards came under attack at 12.20pm on Tuesday at the prison, 20 kilometres west of Melbourne. …Guards first came under attack at 12.20pm on Tuesday. Up to 300 inmates are believed to have been involved in the riot, but many surrendered to police or prison staff as the situation escalated. More than 100 were still on the loose in the centre at nightfall. They had armed themselves with makeshift weapons found in prison workshops, including metal bars and planks of wood….Several vehicles were believed to have been torched in the rampage, while a fence that divided rival outlaw motorcycle gangs was ripped down at the prison, 20 kilometres west of Melbourne.” More here“Heavily-armed police quelled a riot involving up to 300 inmates at an Australian jail on Wednesday over the introduction of a smoking ban, with a handful of prisoners injured. Melbourne’s Metropolitan Remand Centre remains in lockdown after the 15-hour disturbance when doors were smashed, fires lit and some inmates armed themselves with sticks and iron bars from the jail’s agricultural sheds. Three prison staff received minor injuries and five inmates were taken to hospital, some with dog bites, after police moved in during the early hours of the morning, reportedly using tear gas. Brett Collins, a former prisoner and spokesman for Justice Action, an advocacy group targeting abuse of authority, called the ban “bullying” and “a denial of their rights”. “People are just totally outraged… they have very little to lose” Nearly $8m. worth of damage to state infrastructure “The protest… has on Thursday been described as causing the biggest damage bill from a jail outbreak in Australia….”Everything in there is destroyed, including prisoner files over 20 years old,” the source said. “From what I understand, there is not one thing in that prison that didn’t get broken. I think it was well thought out.”” This report shows that authorities knew that prisoners would riot


Australia, Melbourne: 300 prisoners riot against smoking ban


Mexico, Mexico City: prisoners’ hunger strike by the “Informal Coordination of Prisoners in Resistance” begins Very rough translation:

“Today, June 27th, a hunger strike of several prisoners in different prisons of Mexico City has begun. Strike demands focus on…torture and abuse in prisons and the actions of the Commission on Human Rights in the City, the institution which is the prison authorities’ accomplice . Likewise the business conducted with inmates through their sexual exploitation is denounced.

Beyond the differences in methods and strategies (for us prison should not be improved or reformed, but it must be destroyed), in solidarity with the comrades in struggle they …call upon all related organizations, groups and individuals to express solidarity.

Collective Hunger Strike

Informal coordination of Prisoners  in Resistance.

For the following demands:

1) Cease the abuse and torture in all prisons either by word or deed.

2) Termination of the silent repression exercised by the institution in collaboration with the CDHDF (Human Rights Commission of the Federal District)

3) For the people to stop all contact with jailers and / or officials who have been denounced for mistreatment.

4) Total rejection of the austerity measures that are being implemented worldwide, in prisons by various tendencies of economic and political interests.

5) Application of the  Istanbul Protocol on torture to all inmates.

6) Clarification and withdrawal of penal article 148/201H from the sentenced comrade  Jose Santiago Hernández who was sentenced and imprisoned for eight months before reaching his age of majority.

7) That due respect and consideration to the families of the prisoners when they are in the prisons is maintained.

8) No more illicit enrichment, based on the exploitation of prisoners.

9) No more illicit enrichment by officials based on the sexual exploitation of women and men interned in prisons.

10) Breaking the relationship of complicity between the administration and the medical unit; no more neglect and inhuman treatment.

11) Open more opportunities for cultural recreation and artistic projection and paid work for prisoners; the few that exist are elitist ​​and conditioned by the administration.

12) Waiver of staff who actively shapes the Technical Board in all prisons in Mexico City and generate the necessary mechanisms to eliminate corruption and authoritarianism of management and custody.

13) Let us not be judged or repressed for the activities that we protest about because we have always been incited by the malfunction of the penal institution.

14) No more violations of personal data and correspondence for the purpose of extortion, kidnapping, intimidation and confiscation of information material.

Also we denounce the confinement and incommunicado detention that is practiced against fellow prisoner Jessi Alejandro Montaño and we’ll carry out a day of struggle and resistance to make our mark against ignorance and our rejection of prison authority. Side by side with our brothers and sisters,  face to face with the enemy!”


Lebanon, Beirut: prison riot


Belgium, Nivelles: 7 prisoners in rooftop protest Their anger is linked to the recent arrival of a fellow prisoner, who enjoys the favours of the prison governor.”


Canada, Ontario: 6 hour riot in maximum insecurity prison ” Inmates at the maximum security facility in Penetanguishene, Ont., erupted into a random riot Thursday, destroying meal hatch doors, cell doors, phones, duct work and garbage bins in a six-hour incident that was only resolved when a tactical team used pepper spray.”


French Guyana: 2nd prison mutiny in 2 days Prisoners refuse to return to their cells, demand improved health conditions (there are rats and coackroaches in the cells), more interesting social activity, end of abuse by guards. More prisoners (189) in protest  than Tuesday’s (see 16/6/15).


Trinidad & Tobago, Arouca: prison riot “Five officers were badly beaten … Officers were stabbed and one officer’s teeth were broken. T&T Guardian was informed that the prisoners were in possession of weapons crafted by the prisoners. These include shanks made out of tooth brushes and metal objects. The prisoners have barricaded themselves in an area in the prison. The officer said the prisoners have created shields to prevent the officers from harming them if the riot police were to enter. …many prison officers do not want to engage with the prisoners because they fear for their lives. Members of the Riot squad are standing by at Golden Grove to assist if prison officers are unable to contain the situation. A prisoner informed T&T Guardian that the riot ensued following an incident where the prisoners were soaked with water and an Imam was badly beaten inside the prison”


Egypt, Cairo: arson attack on government building made by black blockers in solidarity with tortured prisoners

French Guyana: 74 prisoners refuse to return to cells in protest especially against screw’s union (Force Ouvriere) starving them by blocking food delivery


UK, Rutland: 6 hour riot by about 100 prisoners “Up to 60 prison inmates attacked officers and started fires during a six hour riot at the weekend…It would appear there were over 100 prisoners involved in the riot”……More here A prison officer has been hurt in a riot in Rutland involving scores of inmates. Police and fire crews were called in after small blazes were lit during the disturbance. Order was not restored until screws  specially-trained in brutal methods of inflicitng pain intervened. The defender of ruling class “justice” who was assaulted was treated in hospital and discharged on Sunday night, while four prisoners were taken to hospital  after a savage beating, and two screws were treated for smoke inhalation.  Around 30 inmates have been transferred to other prisons far away from friends and relatives to be beaten by cowards in uniform. A Prison Service PR manipulator said: “A serious incident of insubordinate lack of servilitiy  on one wing at HMP Stocken was resolved by a specially trained gang of ruling class protection racketeers. ….” [translated from the original Massmediatese]


US, Missouri: 31 railway wagons carrying coal derailed   part of solidarity with anarchist prisoners, apparently (see discussion below this latter article on how useful/stupidly dangerous such actions are/could be)


Belgium, Brussels: arson attack on prison building company


France, Val d’Oise: small deliberate fire, screws attacked, in prisonLimoges: 10 Eurovia-Vinci construction engines destroyed by arson Damage is estimated at over a million euros.  Threats have been made and sent to various companies involved in building the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Among the listed companies, there were Eurovia and Vinci. Vinci is particularly involved in the construction of prisons.




Thailand: prison revolt; 1 prisoner killed, 5 guards injured, as prisoners protest overcrowding etc.


Kyrgyzstan, Bishtek: prison riot over failure of doctor to turn up

Brazil, Rio: 2 die in prison riot over overcrowding More here The riot broke out in the Governador Valadares prison of the Minas Gerais state during visiting hours on Saturday morning and ended after a 21-hour standoff, leaving two inmates dead, according to the local Social Defense Secretariat. During the incident, a group of inmates broke security railings and invaded administration offices to protest the overcrowding of the prison, which, with a capacity for 290, holds some 800 inmates. In the end police launched an operation to regain control, using tear gas bombs and a helicopter”


Bedfordshire: fence round Yarls Wood prison for migrants torn down


US, New York: 2 prisoners have a nice day


US, Florida: riot in teenage girls’ detention centre One of the girls managed to steal keys from a member of the detention staff, enabling them to open doors inside the facility and allowing the other defendants to engage in multiple counts of battery”


Nigeria, Zaria: prison riot


Brazil, Caruaru: 2 teenagers killed in mattress-burning riot at prison for juveniles

France, Paris: JCDecaux (company collaborating in prison building) truck burnt out


France, New Caledonia: prison riot following suicide


US, California: 200 prisoners riot (not at all clear what this was about or what happened)


UK, Wrexham: engines of construction equipment for site of proposed new prison (Europe’s 2nd largest) destroyed The mega-prison, if built, will cage more than 2100 human beings at any one time. Multiple large diggers and construction equipment had their engines destroyed. Slogans were sprayed on the half-built prison fences including ‘Fuck Lend Lease’ and ‘Fire to the Prisons’. This is a warning to any company large or small that that is involved in the North Wales Prison Project, or any other prison building scheme that the state initiates. You are a target and you will feel the venom of the working classes fighting back.”


Russia, Bashkortostan: 2nd prison riot against phoney enquiry into 1st “More than 100 inmates held at a maximum-security prison in the city of Salavat in Bashkortostan, also known as Bashkiria, broke windows and wreaked havoc, some of them climbing onto the roof on the security guards’ dormitory”


Zimbabwe, Harare:  prison riot, 5 dead (no real information here)


US, Nebraska: prison riot as 2 prisoners are found deadSeveral disruptions followed in various housing units, resulting in small fires and property damage, prison officials said. … “The inmates have taken over the prison.” More here“We’ve pretty much taken the whole prison,” Frank told the newspaper. He said that no prison employees were inside the housing unit and described the scene, saying: “The ceilings are fallen. There’s drywall on fire. There’s cameras torn down,” according to the Journal Star.Foster told the Omaha World-Herald that inmates had gained access to an office with a phone. At some point during the disturbance, a second inmate was injured by a rubber projectile”


Iraq, Baghdad: prison riot – 6 cops & 30 prisoners dead; 40 escape


Russia, Nizhny Novgorod: riot of prisoners with TB “…at least one prisoner has been killed and 15 injured as a result of a riot at a prison facility for inmates with tuberculosis…eight inmates were seriously injured….Authorities said about 100 inmates set fire to two facilities on May 6, smashed security cameras, broke furniture, and attacked other prisoners…. tuberculosis-afflicted prisoners have been forced to work up to 12 hours a day there.”


US, California: prison riot (no context for this riot) More here


US, Seattle: juvenile prison construction truck burnt in solidarity with Baltimore


Lebanon, Beirut: prison riot “…Asked about what triggered the riots, he replied: “The inhumane overcrowding at the block is one of the reasons.” The block is harboring 1,100 prisoners, while it only has the capacity for 400, he revealed.  …. “The riot is over and it will not reoccur,” he pledged. The first riot at block D took place on Friday where inmates seized the master key at the facility and opened all doors at the building. They also briefly held hostage a number of officers. Roumieh, the oldest and largest of Lebanon’s overcrowded prisons, has witnessed sporadic prison breaks and escalating riots in recent years as inmates living in poor conditions demand better treatment.”


US, Ohio: partial victory for prison hunger strikers


Greece, Athens: anarchists torch cars, fight cops in movement supporting anarchist prisoners (video here – tasteless, horrifying, shocking, nauseating …but that’s enough about the music – the video is interesting) Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Giannis Panousis requested Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ intervention in order to address the riots issue, while he even hinted that he may resign if Tsipras does not take any action. “The Prime Minister must decide which side he wishes to support and which he will leave behind,” he said. Panousis also stressed that the anti-authoritarians want someone to die so that they will be able to repeat the episodes that occurred in 2008 after the death of Alexis Grigoropoulos.”


Greece: various public buildings occupied by anarchists in different parts of the country Around 20 people entered the courtyard of the parliament building in central Syntagma square…. they left after about five minutes. They scattered flyers and chanted slogans including for the immediate release of “Xiros”. Savas Xiros is serving multiple life terms for his role in the November 17 group, which killed Greek, US and British diplomats before being dismantled in 2002. …Protesters also called for the end to high security prisons, which the new Syriza government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has vowed to scrap. Small groups took over Syriza offices in the southern town of Patras, the office of a governing lawmaker in the Cretan capital Heraklion as well as the town hall in a suburb of Athens…Protesters also occupied part of a university in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, and have been occupying the offices of one of Athens’ main universities since Monday.” (video here) It should be pointed out that there are many currents of “anarchism” in Greece, including Leninoid-type shitheads who totally oppose looting. Also, see this mainstream journalistic take on these occupations “…there are signs government patience with the protests is finally wearing thin. The prolonged seizure of the Athens’ administrative building since March 30 prompted exasperated employees to stage a march last Wednesday outside their occupied offices. …”This hasn’t happened for years now — not in this manner,” said university vice-rector Thomas Sphicopoulos of the occupation. “We can’t work, and the university was already in a very difficult situation due to budget cuts.” Other demonstrating employees were more pointed in their anger at the government for not intervening. “Where is the respect for liberty, and where is the state?” fumed one university staffer who asked to remain anonymous.”

A friend in Greece wrote, referring  to the above link: The demonstration of the “exasperated university employees” against the main university occupation mentioned in the link you sent was actually very small. Most of the employees were  either indifferent or supportive of the anarchists (without taking  part in the occupation).” 


Greece, Athens: anarchists occupy Athens University as part of anti-prison movement


Greece, Athens: another riot in support of hunger striking prisoners


Australia, New South Wales: small riot at detention centre “Thursday’s resolution to the disruption inside the centre came after several days of rising tension. TVs were ripped from wall mountings and at least one fire lit in a rubbish bin.”

UK, Doncaster: report showing that riot squad was called to Doncaster prison 8 times last year


Greece, Athens: anarchists confront riot cops in support of anarchist hunger strikers in prison


US, Florida: small riot in juvenile prison


Greece, Athens: anarchists occupy Athens Law School in support of prisoners

Zimbabwe, Harare: prisoners set fire to part of maximum security prison; 3 screws hurt


Honduras, Tegicigalpa: 3 prisoners killed by cops etc. during prison riot “About 400 officers and military troops sent to the San Pedro Sula prison to restore order were met by gunfire from within the facility and pelted with stones and other projectiles, said a spokesman for the Honduras National Police”


Bahrain: report in April of a prison riot on this day and its  horrendous consequences


Greece, Athens: anarchists leave Syriza HQ, having occupied it in support of anarchist prisonersanother anarchist joins hunger strike

UK, Durham: mini-riot in young offenders prison “…inmates reportedly began throwing pool balls and lighting fires during the disturbance….prison guards had to withdraw because of the trouble….”The prisoners began throwing pool balls at them. A couple of inmates were injured and also a considerable amount of damage caused.”


Greece, Athens: anarchists take over Syriza HQ in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners (more here) (video here)


Afghanistan, Jawzjan: 3 cops killed (by prisoners) and a prisoner killed (by cops) as prisoners riot against search operation; 6 other cops wounded, and a prison”health” centre set on fire

Greece, Corinth: cops fire tear gas as demonstrators break into refugee detention camp


France, Montreuil: truck belonging to prison construction company burnt

UK, London: Get Out Of Jail Free card played, then revoked


UK, Swindon: riot cops pelted with missiles as they stop rave party (more here)…  Staffordshire: report on January prison riot

US, Nevada: Riot Of Passage youth detention centre; fires lit, 4 escape


US, Texas: 100s of  prisoners make prison “uninhabitable” after seizing part of the prison An official says as many as 2,800 inmates will be moved to other facilities one day after several hundred prisoners seized control of part of a federal prison in South Texas. Inmates were participating in a protest that escalated into throwing objects, burning bedding, and destroying bullet-proof tent structures…In addition, correctional officers released a “chemical agent” to disperse the unruly crowd that were ineffective due to wind conditions…..U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross says in a statement that the Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville is now “uninhabitable due to damage caused by the inmate population.” … a peaceful resolution may take days or weeks to resolve….The inmates being held at the facility are described as “low-level” offenders who are primarily immigrants in the U.S. illegally.”  More information here….And here

Eire, Dublin: imprisoned water protesters on hunger strike (see also this nicely expressed  article)


US, Texas: about 2000 prisoners “riot” The disturbance began Friday morning when inmates at the Willacy County Correctional Center refused to report to work or appear for breakfast…some of the prisoners were protesting medical services at the facility. The prison, located in Raymondville, about 40 miles northeast of the border town of McAllen, has been used to hold immigrant detainees…Soon after that, several inmates broke out of their housing units and went out into the recreation yard. About 2,000 prisoners are believed to have joined the protest…Officers deployed tear gas, and two officers and three inmates sustained minor injuries…“We are attempting to speak with the offenders to bring a peaceful solution to this incident,” Arnita said late Friday night. “The facility remains secured with no danger to the public.”…Earlier in the day, the riot prompted school officials to place three nearby schools on lockdown.” More here “Spence said the situation could last the whole weekend. “It’s calm right now, but with caution,” Spence said. “It could explode any minute.”…many offenders broke out of the housing structures and went to the recreation yard. Inmates set fire to three of the 10 prison tents, causing minor damage, officials said. …“There’s been some shots fired. Guards on top of the tower were firing. What they were using as ammunition, I have no idea,” Spence told the Valley Morning Star….In June 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union released a study that found inmates of these little-known prisons suffer from a lack of medical care….Prisoners interviewed by the ACLU complained of delayed medical care, guards using solitary confinement to punish those who are ill or who complained about squalid and cramped living conditions, and interference by prison officials with inmates trying to correspond with or meet with lawyers, the report says. Most of those in custody are charged either with illegally re-entering the country or with nonviolent drug crimes”


France, Bordeaux: 45 JCDecaux advertising panels smashed  (JCDecaux is a company involved directly in the super-exploitation of prisoners)


Brazil, Couiba: “Jailbait Jailbreak” – screws get screwed, but not how they wanted to – the dominators get dominated


Italy, Turin: demonstrators block road in front of prison as 47 anti-TAV protesters are condemned to 140 years in prison altogether (plus massive fines)


South Africa, Paarl, near Cape Town: prisoners stab 10 guards in retaliation for killing of prisoner


Brazil, Recife: prisoner and prison guard killed during riot “The violence erupted in a Recife jail when an orderly protest broke down, and was brought under control only after police arrived. One officer died of a bullet wound in hospital, while details surrounding the inmate’s death were not released. ….Gunfire and explosions were heard coming from inside the prison, and G1 Globo newsportal showed a helicopter with an armed official flying overhead. Brazilian jails have faced a string of riots in recent months. The system’s 563,000 inmates make Brazil’s prison population the fourth-largest after the United States, China and Russia, according Amnesty International….”


Papua New Guinea: Manus Island concentration camp prisoners barricade themselves in against Australian security guard attack (see link for 14/1/15)



Australia, Manus Island: report of 500 concentration camp prisoners on hunger strike


UK, Liverpool:  3 screws get screwed


Australia, Darwin: small riot in teenage prison


US, Pennsylvania: teenage prisoners  riot in “adolescent treatment centre”Santa Cruz: anti-cop protesters smash up County Jail vehicles

Germany, Leipzig: Deutsche Bank stoned in solidarity with anarchists imprisoned in Spain


Spain, Canary Islands: solidarity actions in solidarity with anarchists imprisoned in Spain


Spain, Barcelona: demonstration against state arrests of anarchists – windows of banks, hotels and posh shops broken, barricades of containers; demos in several other cities, including Madrid, Zaragoza, Burgos, Castellón and Segovia 


South Africa, Gauteng: well-crafted escapist story


Greece: victory for movement of solidarity with anarchist hunger striker

Russia, Chelyabinsk: 100 prisoners riot


Greece, Athens: anti-state riot in support of anarchist hunger striking prisoner (slightly absurd but kind of funny video here)


Greece, Athens: solidarity demo for anarchist prisoner on hunger strike –  overturned bus, burning cars used as barricades, National Bank attacked, etc.




Venezuela: report of prison hunger strike turning into  prison riot questions state’s version of how at least 13 prisoners died



France, Yvelines: premises of prison-building company destroyed in arson attack


France, Rennes: several bus shelters broken,  on demo about Remi Fraisse’s murder

One of the reasons bus shelters are constantly attacked is the fact that they’re constructed by JCDecaux, which exploits prisoners (JCDecaux also use the bus shelters for advertising other commodities, from where they obviously make massive profits)



Dominican Republic, San Cristobal: 4 prisoners killed by screws as 10 escape during riot

Turkey, Izmit: prisoners burn cells in riot


Paris: various attacks on companies that exploit prisoners or are involved in attacks on immigrants


Brazil, Parana  state:  prison riot/rooftop protestscrews accidentally fall down stairs to the cells


Nigeria, Lagos: major prison protest against  governor;  5 escaped prisoners killed “…  five inmates of the prison who managed to escape through the fence were killed….the aggrieved inmates started agitating against the way the out going Deputy Controller managed their affairs. They reportedly accused him of being high-handed. It was learnt that during the process, the inmates started stoning their top officials, leading to pandemonium in and around the prison. Eyewitnesses said they also held some of the officials hostage before embarking on the destruction of some offices inside the prison including that of the chief warder which was looted and razed down.” (more here)


UK, Kent: uninformative report of major prison riot; screw stabbed


Morocco, occupied Dakhla: cops launch tear gas at protest against death of political prisoner


Chile, Puente Alto: prison riot


Australia, New South Wales: prison riot


Bolivia: riot and massive rooftop and courtyard protest at prison against screws’ theft of money and other belongings (video) More here  and here

South Africa, Rustengerg: 16 illegal aliens escape from jail


France, Paris: vehicle belonging to prison collaborator company burnt out


France, Paris: van belonging to prison building and management firm burnt


US, Nashville: riot in juvenile prison, 6 escape (video) “Juvenile offenders, armed with sticks and poles, busted out of their dorms. Six teens became a mob of two-dozen. Swat teams posted outside watched some rioters shoot off fire extinguishers. Others chased away and attacked unarmed guards. Two staff members were hurt…. James Henry is the commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services. He said for the second time this week, teens got loose by kicking out aluminum panels under windows….”When they came out of their rooms they breached the door and they got out. They were able to knock those doors out again because they’d done it the night before very quickly.” On Monday night, thirty-two teens escaped the same facilityThey busted out of their dorms, pulled up a section of chain link fence, and ran for a nearby highway. Six of those escapees remain at large.”


Brazil, Parana: prison rioters take 2 guards hostage, apparently kill 4 prisoners, beheading 2 of them “the food is bad, there are no lawyers to work their trials, no basic hygiene materials”


prison rooftop protest, Parana, Brazil


Australia, Darwin: tear gas used against teenagers’ mini-riot in prison


US, New  York: prison riot over missed TV shows


Panama: multimillionnaire fraudster trampled in prison riot


UK, Retford: prison rioters take control of entire cell block


Brazil, Bahia, Amargosa: after cops kill a  1 year-old girl, crowds seize the police station, take the cops’ weapons, liberate the 16 prisoners there, torch the station, then burn 30 motorbikes and 19 other vehicles “The violence forced the police chief, judge and prosecutor of Amargosa, located in Bahia state, to take refuge in a hotel.”


Belgium, Steenokkerzeel: prison riot as screws refuse to respect Ramadan fasting hours



Kazhakstan: prison riot for the right not to work


Greece: prisoners’ hunger strike called off


Greece: more on prisoners’ struggle


Israel: 1000 refugees march to Egyptian border to protest indefinite detention in prison camp


Greece, Thessaloniki: burning barricades erected in solidarity with prisoners’ hunger strike


Greece: hunger strike against maximum security jail  by 3800 prisoners...solidarity demohere it claims that the strike is being followed by 90% of prisoners, though I suspect that’s an exaggeration; it also mentions that a banking agency was attacked in Volos in solidarity with the prisoners (June 6th) …list of videos concerning Greek prisons

France, Pantin (93): Bouygues prison construction lorry set alight


Venezuela, Caracas: very violent prison riot


Palestine: Palestinian Authority violently disperses demonstration in solidarity with Israel’s prison hunger strikers


France, Toulouse: several molotovs thrown at detention centre for expulsion of illegals


Australia, Christmas Island: week-long protest by asylum seekers shut down by authorities (more here)…for more about asylum seekers in Australia, see this


Palestine: shops on strike in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners


Palestine, Tulkarem: dozens of Palestinian protesters in solidarity with hunger strikers hospitalised by IDA tear gas


US, California: prison riot


France, Paris: 453 tyres  belonging to JCDecaux bike and ad company that super-exploits prisoners punctured as part of ongoing campaign against them


France, Paris: 2 vehicles belonging to companies involved in repressive social control torched


UK, Peterhead: 14 hour prison riot (more here and here)


Australia, Queensland: prison riot


UK, Harmondsworth: mass hunger strike at immigration detention centre


Egypt: thousands of prisoners stage protests against prison conditions and “justice” violations


Bahrain, Sitra and Sanabis: protests in solidarity with female prisoners


US, Alabama: prisoner trying to organise prison strike  “taken out of his cell … placed in solitary, without clothing or a bed, in retaliation… ” Phone warden Carter Davenport on (001) 205-467-6111 to tell him what you think of his slave empire…though one has to wonder what kind of tactical considerations  this prisoner was thinking of by announcing the proposed strike on the internet before it was supposed to take place, as if it wasn’t obvious that this would allow the authorities to make sure it never happened and to victimise him.

Paraguay: guards kill 2 during prison riot


Australia, Albany: prison riot

US, Alabama: prisoners announce impending strike against “slave empire” “We decided that the only weapon or strategy … that we have is our labor, because that’s the only reason that we’re here…They’re incarcerating people for the free labor.” (article here on some aspects of why prison rate is so high in Alabama…and this IWW statement shows some of the horrendous miseries of prison life there: “The conditions in Alabama prisons are horrendous, packing twice as many people as the 16,000 that can be housed “humanely”, with everything from black mold, brown water, cancer causing foods, insect infestations, and general disrepair. They are also run by free, slave labor, with 10,000 incarcerated people working to maintain the prisons daily, adding up to $600,000 dollars a day, or $219,000,000 a year of slave labor if inmates were paid federal minimum wage, with tens of thousands more receiving pennies a day making products for the state or private corporations.” However,  it has this bizarre sentence: “the struggle of these brave human beings is the same as the millions of black, brown, and working class men, women, and youth struggling to survive a system they are not meant to succeed within.”, which implies that “black”, “brown” and “working class” are separate categories., though perhaps it’s a typo – maybe they unintentionally missed out “white” before “working class”.

UK, Berkshire:  riot in Broadmoor kept quiet for 9 months


Iraq, Tikrit: prison riot


Vietnam, Ca Mau: prison riot involving over 300 prisoners lasts 6 hours


Papua New Guinea: student demo for political prisoners broken up by cops; students relatiate with stones, etc.


UK, Northumberland: prisoners take control of part of prison wingBrighton: kids given detention for going on strike during teachers’ strike


UK, Doncaster: 6-hour prison riot


San Francisco: anti-jail demo – police vehicles & jail vandalized with rocks, spray paint & paintbombs


US, California: prison riotWashington: imprisoned immigrants on hunger strike could be force-fed


Saudi Arabia: riot in migrant workers’ detention centre (more here


US, Seattle: Department of Corrections graffitied with “destroy all prisons”


Papua New Guinea: more about the Manus Island asylum seekers’ riot (video)


Greece: hunger strike by prison hospital prisoners


Papua New Guinea: video of and about the imprisoned asylum seekers’ riot


Kyrgyzstan: riot in mental hospital (ie a prison) – 6 – 9  cops injured; patients (ie prisoners) barricade themselves in


Papua New Guinea: on the island of Manus asylum seekers  confront cops, escape from detention centre,burn part of the centre, destroy tents, smash fences (more here)

Indonesia, Aceh: 100s of prisoners riot


Brazil, Pernambuco :  prison riot against miserable conditions; 2 prisoners killed


United States, Illinois hunger strikers in the prison now refuse liquid  ( see also this)


United States, Georgia 1000 prisoners begin a hunger strike against the brutality of the prison guards (Illinois: in another prison, there was a fairly short-lived hunger strike)


Kenya , Nairobi : clashes between prisoners and screws


US, Alabama: prisoners use contraband cellphones to spread their protest through the internet


US, Alabama: prison protests against slave labour and insanitary conditions spread

UK, Wolverhampton: riot  in prison previously known for rooftop protest (“incident resolved“) …more detailed  information here and here


Sri Lanka: 27 prisoners in rooftop  protest

US, Alabama: protest strikes against slave labour in 2 prisons


Angola: large riot in Viana jail (no further information, but this jail is notoriously brutal)


US, Ohio: arrests in protests against detention of undocumented immigrants


Georgia: 900 prisoners go on hunger strike


Israel: 100s of undocumented African migrants flee detention centre (Sunday) to march and  demonstrate (Monday)…..and next day (today) dozens of them demonstrate in  Jerusalem outside PM’s office (more here)


Indonesia: 100s of inmates at Palopo penitentiary, South Sulawesi, attack officers, set fire to parts of  building


US, San Jose: prisoners go on hunger strike over visitation misery (lasts a week)


US, Nebraska: protesting a policy limiting the number of prisoners allowed in the yard at one time, 33 prisoners at Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln refuse to return to their cells after dinner and set small fires in trash cans.
-KHAS TV (no link)


Canada, New Brunswick: rocks thrown at cops during  anti-shale gas demo blocking highway for several hours (see also this)


UK, Shropshire: prisoners in rooftop protest


US, Arkansas: frustrated inmates in C-Pod at Baxter County Jail in Mountain Home, Arkansas broke sprinkler heads, lights, and a window, and flooded their cells.
-The Baxter Bulletin  (no link for this)


UK: report of 189 prison uprisings in 2012; screws moan about their lack of monopoly of violence… It’s only by the grace of the Devil that a guard hasn’t been killed ….

US, Missouri: report of hunger strike by prisoners Another report (no link) said, “Fifteen inmates at Potosi Correctional Center in Missouri went on a week-long hunger strike to protest neglect, sanitation issues, and physical abuse by guards. Thirty-five inmates there also signed a petition in support of the strikers’ cause.”


Trinidad and Tobago: prison officer killed, prisoners being starved in consequence


Saudi Arabia: prison riot

UK, Maidstone: prison riot – screws “feared for their lives” (more here on the apparent pretext for this riot)…smallish disturbance at Rye prison


Dubai: prisoners on hunger strike


Turkey: riot in women’s prison


Yemen: prison riot, director of investigations badly injured, after director of investigations threatens to ban  visits and limit water and medicine 

US, Illinois: 40  prisoners at Pontiac Correctional Center go on hunger strike ” A Chicago activist group says the prisoners have no heat, and they’re being denied personal hygiene supplies. They’re also upset they have to pay a fee to use nail clippers shared by all inmates. Correctional officers say they’re monitoring the health of all prisoners refusing to eat”. Apparently a radio report said something along the following lines: “Upset over the current grievance officer, inadequate sanitary supplies, no programs for prisoners in long-term segregation, and a poor recreation environment…prisoners at Pontiac Correctional Center in Illinois went on hunger strike.” 


Brazil: prison uprising repressed – at least 10 prisoners killed (some reports say that these killings were caused by gang rivalries…who knows? but this report implies that it was a mixture of both  the authorities and the gangs that did it, but claims that in the local town where the prison is situated, 7 buses were set alight in relation to this riot )


Turkey: fiery prison protest


Canada: prisoners strike over pay cut spreads to 3 other areas


Canada: prisoners go on strike against 30% pay cut (from $3 per day down to just over $2)immigrants go on hunger strike in Ontario prisons


UK, Worcestershire: stand off with screws in Hewell prison, Redditch, has riot cops called


USA, Florida: riot at juvenile detention centre Officials at Gulf Coast Treatment Center juvenile detention facility in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida reported rioting youth there threw chairs, flipped tables, damaged jail property, and used a seized staffer’s radio to communicate with guards.


UK, Cumbria: prison rooftop protest


Syria, Homs: prison riot


UK, Aylesbury: 6-hour ‘siege’ as  prisoners riot


France: attempted prison takeover by prisoners in Chateaudun 


US, Florida, Polk County: riot wrecks youth detention centre


Indonesia, Sumatra: prison riot

USA, Florida: 18 buildings destroyed in juvenile prison riot


Bahrain: rison riot

US, California: prison hunger strike hits its 40th day


UK, Sussex: anti-frackers win temporary victory as the fracking company pretends to be concerned about safety


Greece: riot at immigration centre  …. (some escaped)


Burundi: 2 prison riots


India, Delhi: riot at juvenile prison …riot at Uttar Pradesh adult prison after suicide


USA, Alaska: cells flooded as  prisoners smash toilets etcOakland: solidarity demo with Californian prisoners’ hunger strike blocks state building (more here)

Canada, Newfoundland: small riot at prison


Indonesia, Jakarta: prison riot and escape  attempt


France: short heated prison riot


USA, California: hunger striker dies after being refused medical attention


Ivory Coast: prisoners riot, set fire to cells and almost kill guard; 3 prisoners killed by guards


Australia, Nauru: $60m damage to asylum centre in island riot


UK, Kent: riot at prison – screw stabbed and 2 others injured


Indonesia, Sumatra: 200 prisoners escape after firey riot


Vietnam: prison seized by prisoners for a few hours


US, California: prison riot – screws kill  prisoner


New Zealand: prison riot 




Pakistan: prisoners destroy wall, attack screws and top bureaucrats


Kenya: asylum detention centre inmates make a radical critique of  conventional notions of mental health


Thaïland, Bangkok: attempt at prison escape and riot


Uganda: prison riot and escape


Guatanomo Bay: confrontations between prison guards and prisoners as hunger strikers are forcefed


USA:  demo in support of hunger strikers in  Guatanomo Bay  block traffic  hunger strikers forcefed …demos


Papua New Guinea: 49 escape as prisoners protest against conditions


Eire: riot in a small prison


Thailand: 400 riot cops put down riot by 50 prisoners


Guantanamo Bay: prisoners’ hunger strike now in its 2nd month  (more here )


Sri Lanka: massive prison hunger strike and protest on the roof


Iraq: prison riot in Abou Ghraib, Baghdad

A couple of  very minor personal experiences


At the age of 19, I had my only very short-lived  experience of  being imprisoned.  I’d been arrested for “insulting behaviour” putting on a “guerrillla theatre”-type agit-prop play outside a school in Kings Cross, which caused a semi-riot. We were packed off to Ashford Remand Centre, even though our parents had turned up in court to put up surety for the bail which most of us had been granted (the only one of us that wasn’t was a couple of years older than us, the only one of us who was from a working class background – he went to Brixton for a week before bail was granted). Ashford, though technically a “remand centre” was no different from an ordinary prison – prison gate, barbed wire on the fencing, etc. There we were made to have a public cough ‘n’ drop medical inspection. In fact, this was the most humiliating moment for me – being forced to undress in a hallway surrounded by cells consisting solely of bars (no walls) and being examined naked whilst being stared at by several screws and prisoners whilst my balls were held by a doctor to see if I’d had a hernia or something (being a virgin probably made me feel even more anxious about being naked in front of so many people).  And then made to have a semi-public bath. We then had to wear prison clothes: my trousers were far too big – I had to permanently hold them to stop them falling down (no belts allowed), and my shoes were far too small, cramping my toes.

The cell smelled half the time of piss – someone had thrown out his slpping out pot out of the cell above and the piss had hit the outward opening window, hinged at the bottom, and the piss had run back down into my cell.  Unable to sleep due to the proximity of London airport and a railway line (though the window was too far up to look out of), plus the ever-echoing sound of slamming doors or footsteps along the concrete corridor, I somehow half-composed the following in my mind (no pens or paper and only a Western, with half the pages torn out, to read) and wrote it up properly as soon as I got out – a slightly pretentious poetic-type of attempt at something influenced by the surrealists, but which, despite its literary rhetorical style, also genuinely expresses some life-affirming emotions:

There is no freedom for the enemies of freedom, the slaves of their hate and fear of freedom. Inside the corridors of tyranny the jackboots, the truncheons, the barred windows, the barred wire, the barbed wire, the 40 foot high double electrified fencing – are all screaming out the admittance of THEIR failure to exterminate OUR minds. Their judgements, their amnesties, their reprieves, their mercy – are the judgements, the amnesties, the reprieves, the mercy of the dead to the living – the dead beckoning the living to join them in the graveyard. Soon, from the warm comfort of their coffins, six foot under, they will wake up to find their nightmares becoming reality – obscene words painted on their gravestones, shit smeared over the epitaph, and finally their coffins disinterred and thrown into the burning streets. Soon freedom, the imagination, bruised, castrated, decapitated, buried alive in the dungeons of Pentonville and Ashford – soon, the imagination running riot, shall rise up, shatter the walls and gates, smash the locks, burn down the factories of pain and misery, and seize total power! The dictatorship of the imagination!

It was only 24 hours, but when it’s your first time in prison and you’ve got no idea how long you’ll be there, and you’ve never known anyone who’s been inside, it was a little worrying, though it was the boredom I remember most, because we were kept isolated for most of the time. I was so naïve, I remember being really outraged at the fact that teenagers were kept in prison without bail for 6 months or more before trial, at which they were often let off. (see this, for the context of this arrest and the subsequent trial).

2. On July 14th 2013, I was in St.Louis with my daughter at a demo called the day after George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer, was found “not guilty”. This happened at the end of the demo:

So it’s pissing down and we all loudly head back toward what I somehow thought was the town courthouse, and I go first into  the little vestibule banging a saucepan very noisily. Everybody else seemed a little hesitant, like I’d stepped over an invisible barrier that everybody normally respected. But then this was the vestibule of the city jail, and not merely a courthouse as I’d assumed. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. The noise we were making was deafening, and seemed to echo into the area beyond the glass doors we were not going through.  I suggested going further than the vestibule. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, urging others to join them. Ignorance is bliss.  A masked guy (Zorro? the Lone Ranger? Billy the Kid?) ran in and chucked the only thing that moved – a floor mat. When he returned a bit later, and threw in some flowers that he’d just picked from outside the jail, a black woman got upset – “This is meant to be a peaceful demonstration – Trayvon Martin’s family insisted it should be peaceful”. What sad/mad times these are when throwing flowers is somehow thought of as not peaceful enough.

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread

Angels never go to war – they masturbate instead”

We then retreat from the jail as we get pushed out by armed guards.  A few minutes later the courthouse is surrounded by heavily armoured riot cops with their sticks at the ready, the TV cameras reappearing for the first time since the downpour.  We all go off back to our cars, and then off to a birthday party of a woman friend of my friends. She was born on July 14th, famous in France for what happened in 1789 – Bastille Day – appropriate, since we’d “stormed” the city jail. Well, almost –  the vestibule…still, it sounds good – “WE STORMED THE CITY JAIL!!! – ON BASTILLE DAY!!!!!”

– from here


Bloc Party: Insurgency, Repression, and Prisoners

Originally posted to It’s Going Down:


This being the inaugural writing of our bi-monthly column here at It’s Going Down, we’re going to take a brief moment to fill y’all in on what you can expect to find in this space. As two anarchists who have long been immersed in movement defense work we find that the connection between what is happening on the inside of prison walls and what occurs on the outside is too often disconnected. We hope to highlight the connections, broadening all of our definitions of movement defense in regards to prisoner support and anti-repression work. You can expect to find a mashup of prisoner updates, repression news from across North America, and some analysis on both the connections and the general state of movements.


In the spirit of expanding our ideas about repression, we strive to open up new questions and dialogue about what it will look like to prepare and intensify our struggles. Since the uprisings in Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore, MD, and all the smaller ruptures over the last year, we think its fair to say that there is a consistent, low-level insurgency developing in the U.S., that we haven’t seen in the last 30 years. The pigs and the State have been looking at various populations of people as potential insurgents for decades. Its time we start seeing ourselves as such, and act accordingly.

“As two anarchists who have long been immersed in movement defense work we find that the connection between what is happening on the inside of prison walls and what occurs on the outside is too often disconnected.”

We know that the State tries to bring its hammer down inside prison walls, and it appears to be ramping things up on the outside as well. Folks who are newer to political struggles can be shocked or dismayed at the lengths the State will go to in attempting to keep back the crashing waves of revolt that have been sweeping the country. The more spectacular expressions of state repression, such as conspiracy charges, grand juries, and informants, have the effect of spreading paranoia amongst comrades and creating an atmosphere of distrust and fear that can deter new people from engaging.

Often times, as we have seen just in the last few years, heavy-handed crackdowns can have their drawbacks. Though many find themselves galvanized into joining struggles after the State appears to overstep its bounds. The contradiction of U.S. values of free speech and stormtroopers in riot gear become too obvious for even the most hardline fence sitters to continue to ignore.


Sometimes, its the less overt forms of repression, that come long before the big news headlines, tear gas, and drawn out court cases, that can do the most damage to our movements. Everyday policing and thinly veiled “investigations” of various communities have the effect of beating down the collective confidence of populations. It is no coincidence that these things intensified and have befallen poor communities of color alongside the rise of Black and Brown Power movements of the ’70s. When a community begins to see itself as a community-in-struggle, folks tend to get too uppity and its time to criminalize and harass them into submission.

Since the racist murder of 9 Black people in Charleston, SC, there have been sweeping direct actions against symbols of the Confederacy across the South. After Bree Newsome declared war on the rebel flag by scaling the flagpole on the Capitol grounds in SC, a flood of similar actions spread across the Southern U.S. and beyond. In Chesterfield, VA alone, just in a few weeks there were 2 confederate flags stolen from front porches and burned, garnering hyped-up coverage by local news outlets.


Confederate monuments across the region have been vandalized, some even hit multiple times, resulting in more news coverage than graffiti would typically garner. There has even been an occasionally trending hashtag, #noflagginchallenge, of people videotaping themselves stealing confederate flags from porches and the backs of trucks, sometimes in the middle of traffic. Aside from the unadulterated joy that comes from watching white middle america fly into a frenzy over what is essentially Bart Simpson-style antics, it is important to note the mainstream media’s coverage of these actions. At every opportunity, petty, political pranksterism becomes a reason to lock your doors at night, even without flying racist symbols outside your house.


After over 2,000 people attended an Anti-Klan counter-demonstration in Columbia, SC, the only arrests made were anti-racists, with almost comical media narratives making the pettiest of charges strike fear into the heart of already fearful white people. Two of the arrestees, Eddien Patterson and Stephen Loughman, are requesting financial aid and other support. While Stephen’s charge of “Breach of Peace,” may seem insignificant, the media portrayal of him paints him as a random white hooligan with no clear anti-racist affiliations. This also serves to widen the distances between communities of color in struggle and potential white accomplices. Eddien has been portrayed as an ultra-violent Black man with no political analysis around race of his own, leaving him to only fit within a racist narrative of “gang bangers,” and “thugs.”

“The more spectacular expressions of state repression, such as conspiracy charges, grand juries, and informants, have the effect of spreading paranoia amongst comrades and creating an atmosphere of distrust and fear that can deter new people from engaging.”

While many of the actions described appear small, we don’t want to seem as if we aren’t elated at a new tradition of militancy re-surfacing across the country. This low-level but consistent attack on white supremacy sets the bar for how far future ruptures can go, legitimizing tactics in the popular imagination that previously were off the table except to the most militant political factions. Evidence of this is seen in the political landscape of the St. Louis area, forever changed by the events of last August.

On the anniversary of Mike Brown’s murder, thousands flooded the streets to mark his death and celebrate the uprising. Demonstrations and disruptive actions went off around the country, spilling over into the week after. Showing again who they really are, the police tried to kill again that night, a shoot out erupting in the middle of the protests that details are still very fuzzy on, even from the protestor’s side. A state of emergency was declared as anger in the streets flared once again.


Then once more, 10 days later, on the anniversary of the police murder of the Kajeme Powell, police killed Mansur Ball-Bey. Media estimates anywhere from 100-150 people, mostly from the neighborhood engaged in the initial protest immediately following the shooting. Riot police quickly came in force, forming lines and beginning to push back against the crowd. Before too much time had passed, fires were lit and tear gas was deployed. A new tone is being set in St. Louis and Ferguson that has spread like a wildfire across the country.


Moving our attention back to what’s been going down on the inside, in the last two weeks of political prisoner news there have been some major losses. While many hearts are aching from the murder of Yogi Bear on August 12th, the resolve to fight against the state apparatuses that wish to destroy us can only grow stronger. With hearts heavy, but fists up, here is the last two weeks in North American political-prisoner news.

“This low-level but consistent attack on white supremacy sets the bar for how far future ruptures can go, legitimizing tactics in the popular imagination that previously were off the table except to the most militant political factions.”

Yogi Bear, aka Hugo Pinell, died under mysterious circumstances after having spent the majority of his 50 year imprisonment in solitary confinement. Yogi Bear died much as he lived, in struggle, as his death was during a uprising and riot within the prison. The details of his murder are still unclear and we can only imagine how little help CO’s and prison administration will be in providing answers. This Black August we remember not only the uprising at San Quentin more than 40 years ago, but we remember our fallen comrade. Rest in power, Yogi Bear.

There is a fundraising effort that has started with the goal of creating a public memorial for Yogi Bear. You can learn more and donate here.


On August 19th, Bomani Shakur (Keith Lamar) released a statement about the denial of his appeal to the Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals. At this point his case will go before the Ohio State Parole Board who will then set an execution date. Bomani released a brief statement this week that can be found at Lucasville Amnesty. While this news comes as yet another blow to those in struggle alongside Bomani, his head is up and heart is strong “It’s not over yet–and even if they succeed in murdering me, I won’t let that stop me from living my life NOW. I’m not going to unravel, or break down in a heap of sorrow.”

Eric King, anarchist prisoner awaiting trial in Leavenworth, Kansas released a new poem through his support crew this week. His support crew are currently raising funds to help with the bullshit costs of incarceration as well as travel funds for attendance to his trial coming up this Fall. With Eric’s recent return from solitary housing to general population, he now has greater access to recreation time and communications. Drop him a line of support at:

Eric King
CCA Leavenworth
100 Highway Terrace
Leavenworth, KS 66048


Chelsea Manning, currently being held at Fort Leavenworth, was found guilty on allegations of prison infractions. Apparently having expired toothpaste and LGBTQ publications is a no-no in military prisons. Chelsea was being threatened with solitary confinement, but instead received restricted access to recreation time for 21 days. While this is certainly better news than indefinite solitary confinement, it isn’t without possible long term ramifications as Chelsea reminded folks in her recent statement: “Now these convictions will follow me thru to any parole/clemency hearing forever. Was expecting to be in min custody in Feb, now years added.” Chelsea also has a current fundraising effort to gather legal fees for her appeal. Find out more about donating or instructions for writing Chelsea here.

Abdullah Majid, New York state political prisoner, is currently launching a campaign around his parole. He is in need of financial support during his parole process as hiring legal representation and an investigator is an expensive endeavor. You can make donations to:

Abdullah Majid Freedom Campaign
Post Office Box 1274
Bronx, New York 10467

‘Krow,’ aka Katie Kloth, is also in need of legal defense funds. There is a fundraising site that also breaks down Krow’s wishes of how donations are being split between their own legal fees and some radical projects. Remember though, even when you don’t have the funds to donate, a letter of support is of massive importance! So write Krow a letter:

Katie Kloth
300 Taconite Street
Suite 226
Hurley, WI 54534

All letters must be addressed to Katie Kloth (not Krow Kloth) or they will not be received.


Brandon Baxter of the Cleveland 4 has been in SHU since June after having been assaulted by a correctional officer after having called out the CO’s for their negligence in handling a sexual assault of one inmate by another. It is unclear how long Brandon will be housed in SHU, but several more months are expected. SHU is torturous and your letters of support are vital during this time. Send Brandon some love and soli at:

Brandon Baxter
FDC Oakdale
P.O. BOX 5010
Oakdale, LA

Michael Kimble, a black gay anarchist, currently serving a life sentence for the murder of a white, homophobic and racist asshole. Michael has served 28 years is up for parole this December and needs support in this process! Letters, petitions and phone calls of support are requested. You can find all the details to support Michael over here.

That’s the roundup for this edition. Until next time, keep those fires burning and the insurgency rising.

– Your friendly career bad kids

Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Keith LaMar

From Lucasville Amnesty:

BomaniShakurThe United State Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit released it’s decision on Keith’s Dec 2nd appeal.

They found against Keith. This means Keith’s case progresses to the Ohio Adult Parole Board, who will set an execution date. Our next moves will be coming, but, first, here is Keith’s initial response to the news.

A statement from Keith LaMar/Bomani…

Hello Everybody:

I write this under the assumption that most if not all of you have heard the news: they turned down my appeal. I only recently found out myself and haven’t had the opportunity to read the actual Decision; when I receive it, I’ll extend my response. For now, just know that I am standing firm within myself and not at all wavering in my determination to continue the fight. As I see it, there’s only so much that we, as individuals, can do–and I feel confident that I did that. I wrote the book, spoke all over the country educating people about my plight. And I did this, not because I thought it would sway the courts, but to hopefully sway you to believe that something is inherently wrong with this system (and the country as a whole, to be perfectly candid). In the past few years and months, we have all sat back and watched as unarmed black men have been summarily executed in the streets, without a trial, jury, or the slightest pretense of justice; that being the case, it should come as no surprise that the courts shot me down. It’s upsetting, yes, but I’ve learned to navigate my disappointments my focusing on what to do next. It’s not over yet–and even if they succeed in murdering me, I won’t let that stop me from living my life NOW. I’m not going to unravel, or break down in a heap of sorrow. My understanding and faith is too strong for that. So, for all of you who are worried about me, I am okay. Mad as hell, no doubt, but no less so that when I heard about Tamir Rice, Eric Gardner, Mike Brown–and the rest. Hey, at least I got a trial, at least they went through the motions of pretending that they ever gave damn. I guess I should feel grateful (chuckle).

Again, I’ll write more in the next few days or so, as soon as I receive and read the Decision. Of course there will be the usual sounds coming from my attorneys, expressing their shock and concern. Don’t believe it. More than anybody, I blame them for not presenting the pertinent evidence, allowing the courts to rule in the way that they did. I have the statement from the actual perpetrator who ADMITTED to killing someone for whom I was sentenced to death. No amount of talk can persuade me that they had my best interest in mind. My grandfather used to say, “they piss on you and call it rain.” So that’s how I feel about that (them). For myself, I intend to keep building on the base that I’ve established, working with any and every body who is opposed to this monstrous system. Let’s come together, work together, and stop looking for the same people who profit from our pain to save us. It’s ridiculous! That’s all I have to say for now.

With love and solidarity,

Bomani Shakur

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Write to Bomani:
Keith LaMar
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, OH, 44505

H U S H by Greg Curry


By Greg Curry

I tried to love without my heart, didn’t get far, but how would you know?  I ate something, drank something, took something (today), felt good (today).  I’ll try to not eat, drink, or take anything (tomorrow) that should feel good (tomorrow).

Since when did silence mean I have nothing to say?  Because there’s no perspiration, it doesn’t mean I’m not sweating.  You think because you see no tears, that I don’t cry.

You’re moving really fast, or am I moving really slow?  How long can you keep that pace?  Where is this place you’re in a rush to?  You claim it’s a beautiful, popular place.  Oh!  I want to go also.  Must I improve my pace?  Is admittance subject to a race?  Can I get in without beating you (there)?  Is this place limited to just a few, or is it important to know someone (there)?

You look familiar, but no, I’m sure I’ve never seen you before.  You sound familiar, but no, I’m sure I’ve never heard you before.  Yes, I recall (the thought) more clearly now.  That is you eating, drinking, and talking really loud and fast.  I’m confused because I see tears, but you’re not crying.  While speaking from the heart and working up a sweat like a preacher, you’re convinced… Yes, maybe I should of remained silent since I have nothing to say.

Freedom First,

Greg Curry

Greg Curry, #213-159

Ohio State Penitentiary

678 Coltsville-Hubbard Road

Youngstown, Ohio 44505

An Open Letter from Greg Curry

“It is a given that I’m late to the party, as the saying goes, for my realization that there is a need for a committed and sustained struggle happened while I was in isolation for riot-related charges stemming from the 1993 prison uprising that occured at the Southern Ohion Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville, Ohio.

During this period of isolation, great books were handed to me by other prisoners who genuinely cared about my development.  And guess what?  After 19 years of isolation, our bond is still strong!  Though these books, as well as periodicals, and other writings, my eyes were opened wide about people like George Jackson, Elaine Brown, Martin & Malcolm, Betty Springer, Sharon Dannon, Monica Morehead, Larry hales, to name a few.  Along the way I began to ask:  What of these people who embraced various struggles?  Do they not fear for their job, their rank at their job, or their rank within their church?  So often excuses are made for rich athletes and entertainers–things like, “Well, they will lose all their contracts” or “They must focus on the game, not on political of racial issues.”  It seems to me that the people on the phone with the mortgage company, or the health insurer, about a discount after protesting the policies of that company would have the most to lose.

So I believe embracing struggle isn’t about what we stand to lose; instead, it’s about what gains all people will make.  Those that buy gus on credit to attend a rally; those that dine on tomorrow’s agenda, I say to you:  I love you, will never let you down, and look forward to helping you become a strong and active link in the chain of resistance that’s beneficial to all.  you’re the change we can believe in; you’re the real heroes/sheroes.

I only caution that none of you overlook the quality of ideas one can manifest when isolated with books and right thoughts.  Network with those you struggle for, and feel their pulse.

Freedom first,

                                       Greg Curry

Greg Curry, #213-159

Ohio State Penitentiary

878 Coitesville-Hubbard Road

Youngstown, Ohio 44508”

You can find more information here on our blog about Greg Curry and the Lucasville uprising (don’t forget to drop him a letter!).  Also check out and

Ohio: Prisoners end hunger strike, declare results

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012, Youngstown OH- OSP Hunger Strike Ends. After long negotiations with Warden David Bobby on Monday, May 7th, the hunger-striking prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) began eating again. Two of the men held out through Tuesday, unsatisfied with the agreement. The warden met with them separately, and they agreed to come off the strike. Warden Bobby reported that “by lunch time today, everyone was eating.” This was confirmed by two prisoner sources.

At this point, details on agreements are unclear, but sources inside say that the hunger strikers are satisfied and feel they achieved results. One source described the demands and the Warden’s response as “reasonable”. Without going into detail, the main concerns were in regards to commissary costs, state pay rates, phone costs, length of stay, and harsh penalties for petty conduct reports. The Warden said that he discussed “many things” at Monday’s meeting with strike representatives, “many things beyond the main demands” but he would not share any of the details.

The strikers are resting and recovering, but have mailed detailed information to outside supporters at RedBird Prison Abolition, which will be released to the public as soon as possible. The Warden admitted that one of the hunger-strikers was transferred to disciplinary segregation for an unrelated rule infraction, but stated that there were no reprisals or punishments for participating. One prisoner source agreed with this statement.

The hunger strike began on April 30th and was timed to align with May Day protests outside. Prisoners have stated an interest in “joining hands in struggle toward common goals” with protest and resistance movements like Occupy Wall Street.

Ohio: OSP prisoner hunger strike enters second week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OSP Hunger Strike Enters Second Week.

Monday May 7th, 2011, Youngstown OH- Prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) continue the hunger strike they started on Monday April 30th, in solidarity with May Day.

The number of prisoners refusing food has fluctuated from 24 to 48 over the last week, as some prisoners joined late. Communication with the super max prisoners has been limited since the beginning of the strike, but a clear list of grievances and demands has emerged from at least two sources.

The two primary demands are:
1. Improved commissary practices and increased state pay. The prison commissary can set prices at up to 35% mark-up on basic necessities like shampoo, food, and soap. These prices fluctuate unexpectedly, and are often prohibitive to prisoners without outside support, as state pay is only $9 a month.

2. A transparent and accountable security level classification process. OSP houses level 4 and 5 prisoners, the highest security level in Ohio. Once prisoners are classified at these levels and transferred to OSP, there is no clear process for how they can reduce their level and get transferred out of the facility. Prisoners can spend years in OSP without any negative conduct reports and still have no hope of their level being reduced.

Other grievances include:

1. Food portions and quality have been reduced due to austerity measures.

2. Inadequate medical care. Also due to austerity cuts, prison officials have stopped send prisoners to outside treatment centers for MRIs and EEGs unless their conditions are considered life threatening. They also often ignore doctor recommendations for pain medications.

3. Lack of enrichment programming. There are strict bans on many books and movies, and the institutional television channel has little variety. One prisoner said they run the same programs on a loop every six months.

The two sources for these demands are an open letter written to the local Youngstown paper, by prisoner Marcus Harris, and phone conversations with a trusted anonymous source inside the prison. This source also stated that at least one hunger striker has been punished for his participation, sprayed with mace in his cell and sent to disciplinary isolation. This report has not yet been confirmed.

Warden David Bobby met with hunger strike representatives for 3 hours on Wednesday May 2nd. He says he will “continue to communicate with the inmates and listen to their concerns”. Thus far, the Warden has called a committee to review commissary practices, comparing them with other Ohio Institutions.

He says that the security level classification system is not uniform because it takes the reasons a prisoner was transferred to OSP into account. One prisoner source was familiar with this argument. He described a situation where someone got sentenced to Level 5 at OSP for 48 months or less. He got no negative reports for those 48 months, but was still denied a security transfer because of “the reasons he was originally classified Level 5, but they already knew that when the brought him in and told him it’d be 48 months or less”. This prisoner also said that consequences for petty conduct reports, like refusing to cuff up or return a food tray, have recently increased, “someone who used to be sent to the hole for 16 days, now might be dropped a level from 4 to 5”. He considers these changes an attempt to keep OSP full of prisoners as “job security” for the Warden and Officers.

The Warden said OSP currently has the most prisoners it has since it opened in 1996. He also said the current hunger strike is the biggest hunger strike since he became warden 4 years ago. It is also the second hunger strike this year. In February, twenty-five prisoners went on hunger strike for 3 days. Two major demands from that hunger strike were: increased recreation time, to the court required minimum of five hours a week, and improved commissary practices. The recreation time demand was met, but the prisoners say the current hunger strike “follows directly” from the neglected commissary demand from February. The warden says he does not remember what the demands in February were, and that the recreation schedule has changed repeatedly since the transfer of death row from OSP to Chillicothe last December.

Prisoner Mark Harris’s letter ends: “in short, we are sensory deprived, underfed, isolated with little to no movement, unable to hug our children, family and friends, and we are stuck for an overly extended period of time, with limited programming”. He requests that people use “whatever resources [they] have to help spread the word of our cause, to call and check up on us and our health and also to look into these matters”.

Warden David Bobby 330-743-0700
ODRC Director Gary Mohr 614-752-1164


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